Update 4/22/22: Connecticut moved another step closer to passing comprehensive privacy regulations yesterday when the State senate passed SB6 unanimously. This now goes to the House floor and seems poised to have broad support there as well. Since the legislature is only in session until May 4th, we won’t have long to wait.
Connecticut is the latest state to emphasize debating a comprehensive privacy bill that would give citizens more control over sensitive personal data that websites and applications collect on a regular basis, sometimes in ways that are concealed from the typical internet user. People would be able to see data that firms have collected, opt out of the information being sold, and request that it be removed or amended if it is erroneous, under the proposed law.
While generally following the Virginia Privacy Law, experts say it would have some of the country’s most restrictive consumer protections, notably for kids under the age of 18, as well as some of the harshest enforcement options. If passed, this would require opt-in consent and set a new bar in many ways for US state privacy.
This year, local lawmakers have paid special attention to the issue, citing growing concerns about large data collection and mounting threats to people’s personal information, such as hacking and identity theft.
U.S. States Seek to Fill Gaps for Federal Government
Connecticut would become only the fifth state in the country to enact such data privacy laws if the bill passes. Many other states are considering their own data privacy legislation with Connecticut joining the list of nearly two dozen states exploring data privacy legislation, according to research by the law firm Husch Blackwell.
“The reason why you’re seeing so many states do it is because the federal government has not,” Stauss said. “In the absence of federal action, states are jumping in and almost daring the federal government to do something” (Wildeman, 2022).
According to Stauss, Connecticut has some of the strictest consumer safeguards among the bills still pending this year, making it a model for other states in the event it passes. But according to Stauss, it won’t be an easy road to passing & enactment.
“It is infinitely harder to pass a good privacy bill than it is to pass a bad privacy bill,” he said. Stauss emphasized Connecticut’s proposal’s additional protections for kids up to the age of 18 – a higher level than other states have enacted (Wildeman, 2022). Businesses, unlike in other jurisdictions, would only be notified of a potential infringement until the end of 2024. Following that, the Attorney General will be able to determine if the company merits a warning before a harsher punishment is imposed.
Wildeman, Mary Katherine. “Connecticut Privacy Bill Would Give Residents More Control …” Security Info Watch, 18 Apr. 2022, https://www.securityinfowatch.com/cybersecurity/news/21264538/connecticut-privacy-bill-would-give-residents-more-control-of-sensitive-data.